“It’s important to note that black men commit nearly half of all murders in this country, which is astounding when you take into consideration the fact that they only make up 12-13 per cent of the population.”
“James”, 26 November 2014
There were angry protests across America this week after a grand jury decided a white police officer should not stand trial for the killing of black teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.
FactCheck has already looked at the statistics on killings by law enforcement officials. Though imperfect, the official figures suggest blacks are disproportionately likely to die at the hands of police.
Several people have left comments pointing out that this is not necessarily surprising or unfair, since blacks are also disproportionately likely to be involved in violent crime in the US, thereby putting themselves in the firing line.
One reader, “James”, wrote: “It’s important to note that black men commit nearly half of all murders in this country, which is astounding when you take into consideration the fact that they only make up 12-13 per cent of the population.
“So, given this fact, does it make sense that black men are disproportionately involved in shootings with the police? Your graph is appropriately proportionate, when you take into consideration the role that the black population plays in, not just murder, but crime in general.”
“Sean” said: “If one group is more likely to be involved in that then they are more likely to be killed by the police – so they have nothing to complain about if that is the case.”
We thought we’d check these claims out. (more…)